Glenwood Springs City Manager Debra Figueroa to remain at the helm through 2021 |

Glenwood Springs City Manager Debra Figueroa to remain at the helm through 2021

In this January 2019 photo, Glenwood Springs City Manager Debra Figueroa chats with finance staff accountant Chris Cox at City Hall.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

As Aspen continues its search for a city manager, Glenwood Springs City Manager Debra Figueroa has received a contract extension through Dec. 31, 2021.

“The previous council and this current council, I think, are very lucky and very excited to have Debra as our city manager,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said. “She serves the staff, the council and the citizens at such a high level that most people don’t even realize.”

Previously Figueroa served as the assistant borough manager in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

However, following former City Manager Jeff Hecksel’s departure and a nationwide search to fill the position, Figueroa officially took on the roll in June 2016 – at which time she earned $135,000 annually.

In 2017, City Council agreed to a two-year contract extension with Figueroa through 2019 that brought her base salary to $155,000.

Following a performance review in January the previous City Council awarded Figueroa a $10,000 raise, which subsequently bumped her salary to $165,000 as well as a $20,000 year-end bonus.

The latest employment agreement has Figueroa’s salary’s fixed at $165,000 and does not include another bonus.

According to correspondence between the Financial Advisory Board (FAB) and City Council concerning 2020 budget considerations, the FAB stated, “there are certain positions that are paid below market and [FAB] urges council to appropriate adequate funds to address this where possible.”

The memorandum went on to say, “the city continues to have trouble hiring and keeping staff that is essential in the completion of our objectives.”

When asked what she could do to make sure that qualified individuals wanted to work for as well as remain employed with the city, Figueroa responded, “I think it is critical to offer employees a fulfilling and supportive work environment along with competitive pay and benefits.”

Figueroa continued, “I have a dedicated and strong staff that cares for the residents and businesses of Glenwood Springs and I greatly appreciate what they do every day for our community.”

Before the end of 2021, Figueroa expected to see the replacement of the 27th Street Bridge and reconstruction of South Midland completed, as well as progress on citywide street reconstruction.

The city manager also hoped for more affordable housing units and, “a strong partnership with the county, surrounding municipalities, and Valley View Hospital which results in a detox facility.”

Figueroa’s contract extension comes as Aspen continues its pursuit of a new city manager.

According to a recent recruitment brochure from Peckham & McKenney concerning the Aspen city manager search, “The hiring range for this position is $180,000 to $214,000, dependent upon experience and qualifications.”

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